Research team

Quantitative modelling of negative emissions through coastal enhanced silicate weathering. 01/11/2020 - 31/10/2024


The societal challenge of limiting global warming to <2°C by 2100 cannot be achieved by reducing fossil fuel emissions alone (i.e. traditional mitigation), but requires that CO2 is actively captured from the atmosphere via negative emission technologies (NETs). Enhanced silicate weathering (ESW) is a promising candidate NET that uses the natural process of silicate weathering for the removal of CO2 from the atmosphere. By deliberately introducing fast-weathering silicate minerals into the coastal zone, one could create a coastal CO2 sink. A principal advantage of ESW over other NETs is that it counteracts ocean acidification and that it can be directly integrated into existing coastal management programs with existing (dredging) technology. Whilst the geochemical basis is firmly established and ESW has been proven to work in laboratory conditions, real life applications are hampered by uncertainties regarding CO2 sequestration rates and possible trace metal release. In this project, we will develop a quantitative biogeochemical sediment model that describes the dissolution of silicate minerals in marine sediments during ESW applications. The model will be validated by data from the international ESW mesocosm facility recently established in Oostende. From the model two critical tools will be derived, that will predict CO2 sequestration rates and trace metal release during real life ESW applications.


Research team(s)

Project type(s)

  • Research Project